Witnessing the nesting, hatching and releasing of sea turtles is a unique natural spectacle that can be experienced on the shores of the country of beauty. This fascinating phenomenon occurs in the Greater Colombian Caribbean and Colombian Pacific areas, where 6 of the 7 species of sea turtles in the world choose to lay their eggs.

In Colombia, there are several protected areas that are important nesting sites for sea turtles. These offer optimal conditions and provide a safe refuge for the turtles and their eggs. We invite you to read on, plan your visit, and contribute to the preservation of these animals and their ecosystems.

Plan ahead: when and where

Olive Ridley turtles reaching the sea of Bahía Solano, Chocó.
Photo taken from El Almejal's website.



Colombia is home to several species of sea turtles, and a total of 6 have been reported in both Caribbean and Pacific waters. Among the species that nest in Colombian coasts are the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), the hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata), the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), the Kemp's ridley turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), the olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea), and the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea).

The nesting season may vary depending on the species and geographical region. In general, in Colombia, most sea turtle species tend to nest during the warmer months of the year, which coincide with the rainy season in many areas.

On the Caribbean coast, the sea turtle nesting season usually occurs between March and September, with the highest activity from May to August. However, it is important to consider that dates may vary depending on different factors, such as the turtle species, weather conditions, and other environmental issues.

On the Pacific coast, the sea turtle nesting season may be different and usually occurs between December and March, with peaks of activity during the summer. We recommend consulting with local authorities, conservation organizations, or visitor centers in specific coastal areas for up-to-date information on sea turtle nesting seasons in each region.


There are several amazing destinations in the country to witness the nesting, hatching and releasing of sea turtles. These are places with great natural beauty, where communities have developed sustainable tourism projects that protect the animals' habitat while allowing us to enjoy this spectacle.

Landscape in Bahía Solano.
Photo taken from Awake Travel's website.


Bahía Solano: this municipality on the Pacific coast is known for humpback whale watching and sea turtle nesting, particularly Kemp's ridley and olive ridley turtles. During the nesting season, excursions can be made on land and water to observe turtles laying eggs on the beaches of the area or hatching and heading to the sea. 

  • El Almejal: since 1982, this ecolodge has been a leader in ecotourism in the region. With accommodation amid a private nature reserve in Bahía Solano, El Almejal is an ideal option that combines the rational use of resources with the possibility of experiencing an excellent trip. The "Tortuguitas al mar" program is available to be enjoyed at the end of each year. 
  • Awake Travel: this company focuses on the conservation, restoration, and sustainable use of the country's biodiversity, connecting with local hosts and offering experiences that seek the well-being of communities and nature. The trip to Bahía Solano, El Valle, is available throughout the year; find more information here.

Playón Playona Acandí Fauna and Flora Sanctuary, Acandí, Chocó.

olfo del Darién: this area is one of the most important for sea turtle nesting in the Colombian Caribbean, especially for leatherback and hawksbill turtles. Here you can find the Acandí Wildlife Sanctuary, Playón, and Playona in Chocó, an example of sea turtle care, having been declared a protected marine conservation area in 2013.

  • Ecoviajes Darién: the agency is committed to community development through sustainable tourism in the Urabá region, respecting environmental management and conservation of the area. Among their different plans, which include accommodation, transfers, meals, and more, you can find the Leatherback Turtle Plan in Acandí, where you'll see the world's largest turtle species.

Importance and protection of sea turtles

Release of hawksbill turtles on Isla Arena, Islas del Rosario, Cartagena.

The nesting of sea turtles is a process that occurs during the egg-laying season when females arrive at the beaches to lay their eggs in the sand. This is a crucial moment in the life cycle of sea turtles, but it is also a vulnerable period for them.

To protect sea turtles and promote the conservation of their habitatsColombia has implemented a series of conservation measures, including the creation of nature reserves, nesting monitoring programs, awareness campaigns and environmental education, as well as regulations to prohibit hunting and trade of these endangered species.

There are several protected areas (sometimes not open to the public) that are important sea turtle nesting sites, such as Tayrona National Natural Park on the Caribbean coast and Gorgona National Natural Park on the Pacific coast. These areas offer optimal conditions for nesting and provide a safe refuge for turtles and their offspring.

In addition to government measures, many non-governmental organizations and community groups work in collaboration with authorities to protect sea turtles and their habitats in Colombia. These initiatives are crucial to ensuring the long-term survival of these species and promoting marine biodiversity in the country.

 Why should we protect them?

Leatherback turtle, the world's largest sea turtle species.

1.     Biodiversity conservation: turtles are a vital part of the marine ecosystem. As top predators, they help regulate the populations of species lower in the food chain. Their presence balances marine ecosystems and contributes to maintaining biological diversity.

2.     Maintaining ecological balance: these animals play a crucial role in the nutrient cycle in the oceans. For example, green turtles, by feeding on seagrass, help maintain the health of these coastal ecosystems, which in turn benefits a wide variety of other marine species.

3.     Sustainable tourism: observing sea turtles in their natural environment is an essential tourist attraction in many coastal areas. Sustainable tourism focused on responsible sea turtle observation generates economic income for local communities and contributes to the region's economic development.

4.     Ocean health indicators: the presence and health of sea turtle populations are crucial indicators of the overall health of the oceans. Declining sea turtle populations may be a symptom of broader problems in marine ecosystems.

5.     Cultural and heritage value: sea turtles have cultural and symbolic importance in several communities around the world. In many cultures, they are considered sacred creatures and have a spiritual significance. Protecting these species is important for preserving the cultural heritage of coastal communities.

6.     Carbon cycle regulation: sea turtles, especially green turtles, play a role in regulating the carbon cycle. By feeding on seagrass, they contribute to the capture and storage of carbon, which can help mitigate climate change.

In conclusion, the protection of sea turtles is essential for the balance of marine ecosystems and the preservation of our rich biodiversity. We invite you to come and participate in this activity in harmony with nature. By doing so, you will not only create unforgettable memories but also directly contribute to the protection and conservation of the incredible wildlife of the country of beauty.


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